what can you do today to just relax and slow down?
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In this incredibly fast-paced world, it can be a real challenge to slow down. But let me tell you, it is not something impossible. You can still live in a busy world and have your own sanctuary of peace and enjoy slowness.
I know life feels overwhelming sometimes. There is too much noise, too much chatter, and too much busyness.
We have everything in our finger’s reach. In a second we can open Instagram and check the notifications, then in another second, we can check our emails and then go back to the work we were actually doing.
Then again in the next second, another WhatsApp notification pops up and we go back to check our phone.
In this fast-paced world, we’re constantly engaging and constantly moving back and forth from one thing to the next. It would be a surprise if it didn’t leave us feeling pressured, stressed and anxious.
As we move towards technology and modernity that has become incredibly fast-paced, our entire culture has become fast-paced where we have forgotten how to enjoy slowness, simplicity, and just enjoy the goodness of ‘not hurrying’.
Hence to deliberately slow down is incredibly essential.
Sometimes I too tend to become too caught up in this fast-paced world and I have to remind myself now and again to slow down and just be.
So here in this, I want to share some of the things I remind myself to live slowly and simply.
This post is for everyone who wants to slow down their day and enjoy a day of slowness and simplicity. If you can, keep repeating these and you’ll be living a slow life.
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1. Cut down your to do list
If you want to slow down your day, you need to cut down on the things you are doing. You cannot have a whole list of things to do and expect yourself to slow down.
For a day, see what it’s like to shorten your to-do list and do only 1 to 2 important things. Leave the rest without worry. Prioritize your time if you want to live slowly.
2. Remember yourself
Living a slow life is equal to living a spiritual life. In one of the books I read of Osho regarding mindfulness and how to be present, he says that we must ‘Self-remember’
To self remember means to simply remember ourselves at all times. As easy as it may sound, it’s very difficult. I keep failing at it.
We forget ourselves at all times. Most of the time we don’t even remember what we’re doing. We do things as if in a state of sleep.
To slow down, let us try to remember ourselves.
So today try to remember yourself while you’re walking. See yourself walking. Notice that you’re walking.
Today, remember yourself while you’re eating, while you’re bathing, while you’re putting on your cream, while you’re doing anything.
Come back to yourself as many times as possible today and keep remembering yourself. This will help you to naturally slow down and be present.
3. Do your everyday things without rushing
Often we don’t even have anything left to do or anything more to do, but still, we rush. We have had all the time in the world to visit a place, but still, we want to reach there fast.
We might have all the time to eat our food, but still, we rush and don’t really savor what we’re eating.
The only way to live slowly is to intentionally slow down in our day-to-day chores whether we’re washing the dishes, cleaning our room, or just eating our food.
When you’re doing these things, try to forget time and just be with what you’re doing.
If you’re driving, be with the road and with the scenery. If you’re washing the dishes, be with the water that helping you clean.
If you’re working and stressing over something, immediately recognize it and do the same thing slowly.
You will find that it immediately eases when we don’t rush
Stop being constantly connected with the world on a virtual level. To connect with yourself, disconnect. Turn off your notifications of various apps, uninstall social media if it’s taking up too much of your headspace.
Give yourself a due break and disconnect. Deliberately take your time off to slow down.
Be with the world in real life. When you’re meeting friends and talking to people, just be with them and enjoy their company.
Put your phone in airplane mode and do more things offline.
5. Say No often
Every day too many things come up to take up our time.
And when these things come up and we say yes to all of those for fear of being rude or taken otherwise, we must know that these things don’t just take up our time, but also our energy and our mental space.
To live a simple life that is good for you, to slow down in life, we must learn to be comfortable with saying ‘No’.
Today if anything comes up that is trying to steal your attention and time, even if it’s something tempting for you, look a little bit in the long run and say ‘No’.
If it is something you don’t want to do, then there’s all the more reason to say no. You have all the right to say no and set your boundaries. You owe your time and no one else.
Read more on what I gained and lost by learning to say no
6. Make space for silence
Everybody is busy with the noise, talking about what they did, what others did, complaining about the weather, about their day at work, and other insignificant things.
Noise is easy. Chatter is easy. You can find it anywhere and everywhere and in any corner of the world.
But is it the same thing with silence and stillness? Not at all. If it were then all of us would be living simply and peacefully.
Silence and stillness are rare. And because it is rare, it is precious and significant.
A moment of enjoyment in silence and stillness doesn’t come out of anywhere. You have to deliberately create it and make space for it.
If you want to slow down your day, take out at least some time in your day to just sit in silence and enjoy the stillness.
For me, it is in the morning which is included in my morning routine. I sit down in silence and focus on my breath, then I visualize my dreams and my goals and pray for everyone and give thanks to the day.
Even 10 minutes is refreshing. Give yourself silence. Our soul needs it to flourish, thrive, and slow down.
- P.S My simple morning routine before 8am
- How to stick to a morning routine with these 10 action steps
7. Take breaks
Often we feel that when we see we have time, we want to do another task. We feel we still have time for another thing to do. (happens to me all the time)
This way we don’t allow ourselves to just enjoy free time and enjoy boredom.
The moment we’re bored, we switch to our phones and go from one app to another or find something else to do.
I need to deliberately remind myself to take a break and enjoy rest time.
If your day is consumed with one task after another, remind yourself to take breaks.
After every task, you do take a quick break even if a brief 3-5 minutes. Don’t constantly switch from one task to the next. Allow yourself to take breaks, you will be more productive.
8. Don’t multitask
Do you constantly switch from one task to the next? Checking Instagram now and then as you’re working, reading your emails when you’re working on something, replying to your messages when you’re eating, and all such kind of stuff.
If yes, then for today quit multitasking. Simply do one thing at a time.
When our attention is constantly scattered from one thing to the other in a short span of time, we naturally feel rushed and stressed.
To slow down, intentionally do one thing at a time. If you’re working on something, put on a timer and just do that one thing with undivided attention. Not only will it help you slow down, but you will feel more satisfied with the deep work done.
As Thich Nhat Hhann says, ‘When walking walk, when eating eat’.
9. Have a time stretch for downtime
Do you find it hard to take out time for yourself?
Are the outside world and all the other things you need to do are demanding too much of your time? Do you end up spending all your time doing those, at the end of the day making you feel rushed and stressed?
What I have come to find is that until and unless we deliberately keep a time stretch just for our downtime, our time will continue being spent on other things.
At one time you simply need to put everything else in the background and deliberately create a time stretch for downtime, where you don’t do anything, where you simply spend quality time with yourself.
Create a time stretch especially in the evenings.
Leave your phone and do things that feel good to your soul. Maybe it is going out for a walk, watching a movie, listening to music, writing in your journal, spending time with your family, or simply doing absolutely nothing.
Make space for downtime without any guilt.
10. Go out for a walk
For me, going out for walks is one of my best ways to slow down. I love long walks. It helps me slow down and gives me so much mental clarity.
When I am walking I feel I could go on and on walking. There is no rush to walk fast. You just move at your own pace. You honor the pace of your body and you get to notice the world around you more clearly when you’re simply walking.
When I walk, it’s one of the times when I deliberately try to ‘self remember’. I notice myself walking and remember myself and this immediately brings me back to the present moment and helps me slow down.
When I come back home I feel refreshed and calm.
If you want to slow down today, try going out for a solo walk. Watch yourself and watch the world. Walk slowly and intentionally slow down.
So these were some of my tips for slowing down.
I hope you give it a try. If you have any more ways that help you to slow down, I would love to hear from you in the comment below.
P.S Related Post:
- How it feels to not rush with my body
- A manual for simple living
- The spirit of experimenting with life
- What happens when you embrace slow growth
- How to let go of the fear of not knowing
- 15 things to get rid of to simplify life
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